AA Step 1 Acceptance Is The First Step To Recovery

The main purpose and mission of Alcoholics Anonymous members is to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety. So that even when someone has powerless over alcohol overcome their addiction, they stay within the fellowship and help others overcome their addiction, and this also keeps them from relapsing.

  • As a part of treatment at MARR, our clients complete a First Step Inventory, which includes examples of powerlessness and unmanageability from various areas of life.
  • So if you tell your sponsor or other safe person that you drank as soon as you can after sobering up, it can be a way of admitting you are powerless over alcohol.
  • We can see the patterns of powerlessness and go for help.
  • How do you prepare for life after treatment, and what kind of help do you need?
  • James is a CCAR Recovery Coach and believes in developing meaningful relationships, and providing highly individualized therapy and client care.

It may even feel completely unnatural and you probably don’t want to do it. But sharing your experience and the unmanageability lifts the burden of lugging them around in secret.


Why do so many recovering addicts believe in God or a higher power?

However, being powerless doesn’t mean you’re weak. Step 1 of AA requires a great deal of strength and courage as you accept that alcohol has taken over your life.

aa powerless over alcohol

When a person admits that alcohol is affecting his or her life, they can start recovery. The first step is about powerlessness over behavior that makes the individual’s life unmanageable. Many 12-Step programs are well-known groups that use the concept of powerlessness to benefit recovery. The Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book says “powerless over alcohol” as its first principle. AA members believe they cannot control their drinking without the help of a higher power. This belief is what gives them hope and helps them stay sober.

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Letting go of your secrets frees you up to move forward with a different, better life. For many people, the act of sharing Step One in an AA meeting is the true start of recovery.

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For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health . Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Want Jason Wahler in-person for your next gathering! https://ecosoberhouse.com/ Book Jason for speaking engagements, events or appearances and let him bring the message of recovery & hope. Jason Wahler is a Host, Actor, TV personality, and philanthropist who appeared on hit shows like MTV’S Laguna Beach, The Hills, and Celebrity Rap Superstar. After years of publicly battling with addiction, he appeared on Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab.

As the definition says, we lack the authority or capacity to stop. Once someone enters into the 12 steps, there is often a deep-rooted sense that drinking means you have failed the whole process. This is why some people will continue to attend aa meetings without admitting they have drunk alcohol. Admitting to being powerless over alcohol will help a person to recognize that he or she does not have control with their drinking. Denying there is a problem only allows the person to continue their destructive behavior. When a person realizes they are powerless over alcohol, they have taken the first step to live a healthy, sober life.

Foundation for the Other Steps

By going to AA meeting groups we meet AA members in who we can see the effect of continuing with the rest of the steps. They will approach us with an open mind as they talk to us because once they were such people as we are now. For me, the day came when my girlfriend had to cover my portion of the rent when I had to cover my bar tabs at a couple of locals. I went to an AA meeting to impress my girlfriend, nothing else. She has three drinks a year, so as far as I was concerned didn’t understand “normal” drinking. I stopped in at a bar for a few drinks on the way home.

As a licensed clinician, Cheryl stands ready to diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of mental, behavioral, and personality disorders that sometimes present alongside a substance use disorder. We admitted were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. When you start your path in recovery, you’re likely to find that your life is a bit unmanageable. Please don’t feel the need to surrender when you begin; this is an ongoing process, and it might take time to cope with everything that’s happening.


Some AA meetings give all participants a chance to speak. Before speaking, the participant is required to state his or her first name and say that he or she is an alcoholic. When you follow this format, you are participating in Step 1 and admit to the group that you may be struggling with alcohol addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the oldest and perhaps the most recognized alcohol addiction treatment program.

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I have been a teacher/entrepreneur most of my career. From the founder of TestCafe, I recently moved into my new role as Director at NeoStencil. I love taking photos (at times a couple out of hundreds turn out ok), a game of squash whenever I can, and I’m learning to play the mouth organ and piano (at snail’s pace).